Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Books Lately

Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I tried to knock out a few netgalley books since the last link up, I'm still not ahead but isn't that always the way with netgalley. Getting there!


My photos are always with Penny because she is a) the only cat that ever lays on me and b) the only cat that allows me to rest my book on her. It's quite handy really, until she moves, which she always does because you know.. cats.
One of Us Is Lying - Karen M. McManus
breakfast club meets gossip girl meets pretty little liars
I've had this book forever and I kept putting it off, don't know why. It was addicting and I really wanted to know what happened. I did guess the ending, but I guessed several other endings too so I was bound to be right with one of them. I read it in one sitting, liked the characters and the story. I see why some people wouldn't like it or be offended by some of the 'twists' but they did not bother me.
Received copy from Netgalley.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things - Bryn Greenwood
follows the relationship between a man and girl with 13 year age gap
This is one of the most disturbing, sickening, heartbreaking books I've ever read. I had some issues with the direction of the book towards the end, regardless of how realistic, and of course with the whole 13 year age gap which wouldn't be the end of the world except things do get physical when she is like 13. This is not a true romance, it's not super graphic or erotic, and like On the Island you might find yourself rethinking things, rethinking your gut reactions. I don't know. I read a review that said this was a hard book to read and even harder to put down and I agree completely. 
The Great Alone - Kristin Hannah
family moves to alaska in the 70s
This is actually my first Kristin Hannah book after The Nightingale. I loved that one so much I didn't think any of her others would be able to compare, but when I saw this on netgalley I couldn't help but request it. I do not think the synopsis does this one justice, it sounds dreadfully boring but it is anything but. The pacing is a bit odd, really slow at first and super quick at the end. I loved the characters and their relationships. This book is heartbreaking and I felt all the emotions. I teared up several times, nothing like the all out sobfest of The Nightingale though. I definitely need to check out more from this author!
Received copy from Netgalley.

Surprise Me - Sophie Kinsella
couple freaks out when they realise they have 60+ years left together
This is a typical Kinsella book in my opinion, the characters get into stupid sticky situations because they don't think or research things properly and there's a lot of miscommunication. It passed the time just fine though it did feel like there was a lot going on, almost like it was two books smooshed into one (which is funny, given a quote in the book). Definitely not my favourite of hers, my expectations might have been a tad too high after loving My Not So Perfect Life, but if you're a fan of hers already you might enjoy it. 
Received copy from Netgalley.
Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
murder mystery on a train
I picked this up for 2 reasons - 1) the movie, I have a strange obsession with reading books before watching the movie, even if I don't really have an interest in the book or movie (I didn't say it was a logical obsession) and 2) my mana is a huge Agatha Christie fan. She owned and loved all of them. She can't read anymore, her eyesight is too bad. I've always meant to pick up one of her books, but my nana hates Jane Austen so I figured our tastes would be pretty different. This book took me two months to read, which is an age for me. Even though it took me a long time, I really enjoyed it overall. It was funny and interesting.
Artemis - Andy Weir
a criminal-ish and a conspiracy on the moon
I ignored this one for several months because my expectations were way too high. Andy Weir probably should have pulled a JK Rowling and published this under another name because everyone will compare, and I'm sorry, it just pales in comparison to The Martian and Mark Watney. Which is a bummer, obviously. I liked the overall story and I was definitely interested, I just would have liked more from the characters and their relationships. Overall it was an enjoyable read that passed the time just fine, I don't regret reading it.
Received copy from Netgalley.
By the Book - Julia Sonneborn
persuasion retelling
I love Persuasion retellings, as I might have mentioned a time or twenty. I had high hopes for this one but it was very disappointing unfortunately. I wasn't a fan of the writing, the story itself didn't focus enough on Adam (Wentworth) and Anne as much as I'd like, there was a love triangle.. honestly, the other guy is probably what ruined it for me. Sometimes drastic changes in retellings work, sometimes they don't. This one just didn't sit right with me and I struggled through it. Womp womp.
Received copy from Netgalley.
How to Stop Time - Matt Haig
man lives for over 400 years
I...... nope. Note to self: if you find a book dreadfully boring and not matching the synopsis, DNF it. I loved the concept but this fell super flat for me. The main character was insufferable and so boring. It goes back and forth all over time (he is 439, after all) and we meet lots of famous people (come on now, just because you're old doesn't mean you will have met every bloody person who will turn out to be famous in a century or two). I didn't hate it but I didn't love it and have already forgotten it.
Received copy from Netgalley.
Nemesis - Brendan Reichs
girl survives being killed every 2 years but also the world seems to be ending plus a little bit of hunger games/lord of the flies
This was the book Gina and I decided on this month and I think we'd both like to apologise to anyone who read along with us... this book was a mess. It sounded good because of the girl getting killed every 2 years but somehow surviving that, and that's why I picked it up. I admit I didn't read the entire synopsis because I didn't think it would be much more than that, because why would you need more than that? This book tried to fit too many things in, answered about 10% of the questions that arose and the answers were lazy with someone explaining shit. Should have DNF'd.



Linking up with Steph & Jana.
Life According to Steph

Gina and I will be reading Homegoing before the next link up if you'd like to pick it up as well. I've heard nothing but good things, hopefully it is better than the mess that Nemesis was.

TL;DR - I recommend One of Us Is Lying and The Great Alone.

Read anything decent lately?


52 comments:

  1. I never did finish Murder on the Orient Express. I was at 45% maybe?

    I just saw the new Kinsella book last night and considered it. I miss her good old days of writing though.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved One of Us is Lying! I also guessed the ending, but then I was like "Naah, there's no way that's it". But then it really was. LOL.

    I am a huge Agatha Christie fan. I inherited all my step-mum's Agatha Christie books after she died and it's always nice to think I enjoy something she liked too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Did the AC book take you so long because you didnt like it, or was it just super long? I'm interested in her as an other. Love Kristin Hannah, picked up Homefront years ago and fell in love with her as writer.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah, everyone is saying how good "One of Us is Lying" is! Need to read that ASAP! SO GLAD you enjoyed All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. It was one of my top picks last year. It is strange and upsetting, but I loved how thought provoking it was and how well developed the characters and relationships were. And YES to The Great Alone. Loved that too.
    I saw the movie Murder on the Orient Express with my mom and we both fell asleep in it. I don't think the book is in the cards for me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have One of Us is Lying on hold at the library, AND All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. I've heard mixed reviews on the Christie stuff, but maybe I'll give it a shot.

    ReplyDelete
  6. One of Us is Lying sounds right up my alley! Definitely adding to the list :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. One of us is Lying is on my list. It sounds good! So glad you loved The Great Alone. I LOVED Winter Garden by her too but it is more in the vein of The Nightingale with the emotions.and themes. I don't know that I will ever pick up All The Ugly and Wonderful Things. It just rubs me the wrong way. Don't let my review of Homegoing deter you... I think I read it at the wrong time because my attention span for it was zilch. I hope the audio of the grandmother book is helping you enjoy it more. Bummer about How to Stop Time! It sounded sooo good.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I cant believe I've never read a Kristin Hannah book yet. I've got to get on that.
    I've got that Sophia Kinsella book on hold at the library - cant wait to read it :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really hope to read One of Us Is Lying soon. It sounds great. I haven't read Murder on the Orient Express in years, but I DO Love Agatha Christie. I would recommend The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - it's my favorite of hers (of the ones I've read, since she's written SO MANY lol)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have Surprise Me in my pile of books to read, but I am worried that I will be disappointed in it after liking her last one so much!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Artemis reminded me of a space western. I liked it, though.

    One of Us Is Lying was great, even if it was predictable. Ugly and Wonderful Things is a fantastic book! One of my favorites of last year.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Between your review & Steph's, One of Us is Lying is moving to the top of my TBR!

    ReplyDelete
  13. TOTALLY agree about the Kinsella book. It's funny because my review, yours, and a bunch of other people said the same thing about feeling like two books in one. It was so weird. The first half really didn't work for me but I really liked the second half. Her humor switched on, or something.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I LOVE Kristin Hannah (for the most part) I loved Winter Garden, Home Front, and Magic Hour. True Colors was OK, but I HATED Firefly Lane. Winter Garden was probably my favorite. I'm really sad you didn't like "By the Book" because it totally looks like it would be good - but I hate love triangles!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ugh By the Book ... so boring! Glad it wasn’t just me. I loved all the things, even though it was very disturbing/difficult/whatever. One of Us Is Lying sounds like a good read!

    ReplyDelete
  16. After reading a few people review it I'm very intrigued by One of Us is Lying...it sounds like a good one! I have All the Ugly and Wonderful Things on my TBR but it sounds like one I kind of need to emotionally prepare for, but I still think I'll read it. I figured that Artemis wouldn't be as good as The Martian. Kind of a bummer but I still want to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That description of all the ugly and wonderful things is so true! It’s almost like a train wreck that you can’t heloves but watch but that it has a happy ending if that even makes any sense. I have the newest Sophie Kinsella but I haven’t read it yet. I definitely will have to try hard to not compare it to my not so perfect life because I loved that one too! And I hope that you love Homegoing! I read it a couple of years ago and loved it so much! The way the book is set up is a little different but it’s really good.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh no! Bummer to hear about By the Book and How to Stop Time. Both of those are on my TBR list. Will probably still give them a try - I have gotten better about DNF if it's not working for me. In Persuasion I guess you could develop Anne's cousin into the love triangle, Is that what happened? But she was never at all interested in him. Good to know about the Great Alone and Surprise Me, I am looking forward to both of those although agree that Kinsella's characters can annoy me by getting into such ridiculous and easily avoided situations.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I adored all three of your top books.

    I try to stay under five to reads at a time on Netgalley!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Surprise me sounds like my type of book and so does one of us is lying - adding both to my TBR list!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

    ReplyDelete
  21. Haha, I have a weird thing about wanting to read the book before the movie too, even if neither really interest me! How To Stop Time is on my TBR, but maybe I'll try one of his other novels first. The first two are on my TBR as well, and I actually have Surprise Me, but it's fairly long and I want to finish up Erin's Challenge first. Why did Murder on the Orient Express take longer than usual? I'm contemplating reading it since I've only read positive reviews on it, but I'm noticing that it's Hercule Poirot #10. I'm guessing you don't have to read the prior 9 to get into this one?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Man I feel the same way about Artemis! I have it downloaded but I just can't get into it because I miss Mark Watney!

    One of Us is Lying is on my list and I hope it comes in soon!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like and respect your reviews and taste on books, so I'm going to look into All The Ugly Wonderful Things.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I totally wanted to read How To Stop Time because I heard so many good things about it. Bummer you didn't enjoy it :(

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh man the reviews on All the Ugly and Wonderful Things are insane. I want to read it but I am stressed just thinking about it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think I will check out "One of us is Lying" too. I want to read "Murder on the orient Express". I saw the original movie as a kid & liked it. I'll also have to check out Sophie Kinsella's Surprise Me". I haven't read that 1 yet. I'm reading "Wedding Night" right now & want to read "My Not So Perfect Life". Are there any other Sophie Kinsella books that you loved? I really liked "Twenties Girl" & "Remember Me". She's 1 of my fave authors, but I haven't read all of her books. I should sometime. I want to read her new 1 next.
    http://therantingsofadramaqueensmum.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. For those wanting to read Homegoing- I don't know how many Books-a-Million stores there are out there, but it's on their sale racks right now!!
    I'm working my way through the Poirot series so I haven't gotten to Orient Express yet. It's on my list, though. One of Us is Lying is on my (short) list, too!! Same with The Great Alone. Lying is actually sitting on my bookshelf right now and I have to tell myself no each time I pass it because others books are in line before it. Hahahahaha.

    ReplyDelete
  28. All you're couldn't put them down books are on my TBR. And thank you - I felt the same way when I read the description of Hannah's new book. First, I thought it was a WW2 book and I wasn't sure if I ready to go back into the world with her. Then I realized it wasn't a WW2 book but it honestly sounded a bit dull. However, seeing all the rave reviews has me curious now! I felt the same way about Artemis. It was a good book but Mark Watney is a one in a million character.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've heard so many good things about The Great Alone, but it's taking forever to get it from the library...

    ReplyDelete
  30. I really loved One of Us Is Lying and felt exactly the same way as you with All the Ugly and Beautiful Things. I haven't read The Martian yet, so I think I will do Artemis first, and maybe it'll be better for me that way. I have Surprise Me on NetGalley and am saving it for when I'm in the mood for a book like that. Bummer about By the Book.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm currently reading Surprise Me so glad you enjoyed it enough. I really liked All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. I started One of Us Is Lying but couldn't get into it and returned it to the library unread. I think I'm going to have to give it another try since everyone is raving about it! I am waiting for The Great Alone to come in from the library. I love Kristin Hannah!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh thank god for this post. I read through mean streak like. In a day and my town’s library rarely has books I want available so I was scrambling. Gotta beef up my list and request far in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I was worried about the same thing after reading the Nightingale and now I'm super excited to read her new one. I'm on the list with the library :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. One of Us Is Lying and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things are already on my list. I actually had One of Us Is Lying checked out on my Kindle when we took our anniversary trip in November, but I didn't get to it in time. I always think I'm going to read more than I actually do on long flights.

    The Sophie Kinsella book is on my list as well. I remember feeling on the fence about it when I read another review, but she's one of the rare chick lit authors I really enjoy so I figured I'd add it and get to it one day.

    It sucks that Nemesis wasn't good. It sounds so promising! I can definitely see why you originally picked it.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh I loved The Nightingale, it was totally one of the best books I read last year. I'm glad to hear you liked her book,now I will add it to my reading list. I base my reading list on books you like, you have never let me down! Everything you have recommended I have really enjoyed!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh man, I LOVED Artemis. I was lucky enough to score a signed edition at a local store for the same price as a regular hardbound at Barnes and Noble. And they gave me a free tote lol. (Funny story - my uncle is friends with the authors dad and has a signed copy of The Martian that I told him I'd love to take off his hands) While I still prefer The Martian and would have also loved a more intimate look at the relationships, I thought it was a funny and thrilling story and I loved the main character. I loved that she was female and arabic. It's nice to see authors using poc characters!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Haven't read any of these but adding One of Us Is Lying to my reading list!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'll be interested to read your thoughts on My Grandmother... I tried Artemis, but just couldn't get into it, even despite Rosario Dawson narrating the audiobook. I had similar feelings regarding All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. It made me very uncomfortable, but I absolutely had to keep going.

    I'm looking forward to reading/listen to One of Us is Lying and The Great Alone! (I just have to finish Erin's challenge first.)

    ReplyDelete
  39. So many of the same books! All the Ugly and Wonderful Things has been downloaded from Audible for months. I need to listen already! The Great Alone and Surprise Me are on my nightstand right now. I've been meaning to read My Grandmother Asked Me for so long. I really liked One of Us is Lying!

    ReplyDelete
  40. So many good books!

    All The Ugly and Wonderful Things sounds very, interesting? I think I need to read it as it’s totally different.

    ReplyDelete
  41. You officially got me to add All the Ugly and Wonderful Things to my reading list. I have been seeing it everywhere and although people say its disturbing, I still see so many 4 and 5 stars on the book. Kristin Hannah is on my list to read as well!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Have you read Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah? I'm assuming you have, but good lord talk about cry fest. I remember sobbing in the shower after I finished. And for the last probably 50 pages at least. But it was so great.

    ReplyDelete
  43. i'm #29348973452789 for the great alone so i should be getting it by December #rude. i loved all the ugly and wonderful things!

    ReplyDelete
  44. So many great reads Kristen! I enjoyed One of Us Is Lying. It definitely met my "thriller light" need. I have not yet read My not so Perfect Life. Should I read that before Suprise Me? So many books not enough time. Pam :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Your cat looks a lot like mine. I'm wanting to read My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  46. You know I love your book recs. I literally add all your "couldn't put 'em downs" to my to read list every month. I think "One of us is lying" will be my next read!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Wow, pretty much all of these were previously on my TBR list. I'm interested to see if my thoughts match up with yours when I finally get around to reading them all. A friend lent me "One of Us is Lying" and I thought about not reading it, but seeing you enjoyed it so much makes me think I'll give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I've been wanting to read one of us is lying for so long. and yay you read murder on the orient, I was kind of meh about it too but at least it was short. the movie is pretty good too!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I just picked up One of Us is Lying and I can't wait to see if I guess the ending!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Glad you said that about the Kristin Hannah book... because it does sound boring, yet everyone seems to like it. Confusing. One of Us Is Lying is on my TBR. I read Murder on the Orient Express the year before I got back into reading, but it did take me a while to get through. It's slow, but I think I enjoyed it. Mysteries are not always my thing. I guess who did it and then... I'm bored. LOL. That one I did not, but you know. I thought the movie was cinematically beautiful and they did a good job of bringing current racial issues into it that were really relevant to today. Which is horrible. Yikes. But that overall the movie was a little slow. I dunno. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    ReplyDelete
  51. One of Us Was Lying was so good and I agree with everything you said about Surprise Me. Still a fun read, but the plot definitely took a surprising turn. I'm really looking forward to (eventually) reading The Great Alone. I haven't read The Nightingale yet because I'm not usually big into WWII fiction, even though I know everyone loves it-- but The Great Alone sounds really interesting!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for your comment! I reply to my comments via email, but I can't do that if you are a no-reply blogger.